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Ticketmaster cleared in TradeDesk inquiry

World News
February 22, 2019

NORTH AMERICA               

Competition authorities have ruled that Ticketmaster (TM) has not broken federal competition law by promoting its TradeDesk platform.

The investigation followed an exposé of TradeDesk activities by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Toronto Star newspaper at the Ticket Summit trade event (see Audience issue 224).

A TradeDesk representative had told interested parties, “I have brokers that have literally a couple of hundred [ticket resale] accounts,” which TM later said is contrary to is rules for use of the software.

The software enables professional ticket buyers to manage their own inventory of tickets and upload their stock onto TM’s resale platforms, TicketsNow in the US and TicketExchange in Canada

Canada’s Competition Bureau says it reviewed public allegations, complaints and evidence including videos, websites and marketing practices and concluded that TM’s use of TradeDesk did not contravene the Competition Act.

But the watchdog is continuing its litigation against TM, its owner Live Nation Entertainment and affiliated companies, after finding that TM uses a “drip pricing” mechanism to inflate its ticket pricing.

The bureau claims that the companies advertise tickets at a lower price while introducing mandatory charges throughout the purchasing process, which can increase the buyer’s eventual fee by up to 60 per cent.

“This legal action seeks to stop the companies from allegedly making deceptive claims to consumers when advertising prices for sports and entertainment tickets,” it says in a statement.

Proceedings are scheduled to begin this autumn.

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